Nurses with a master's degree choose to pursue the next-step-doctoral degree for many reasons. Often, it's the desire to pursue a passion such as teaching at an academic level, striving for educational wisdom, or conducting research in a variety of settings and venues that drives the nurse to obtain a demanding degree. Once the doctoral level of the ivory tower is achieved with a DNP or PhD, the next challenge is an academic fellowship, which allows the post-doctoral nurse to research on a specific area of interest.

Although many organizations, institutions, and academic settings offer post-doctoral fellowships for nurses, the competition for selection is quite high. The chance to be paid while conducting research in an area of passion, which may include international travel and the possibility of having your work published, leads to many nurses applying for limited spots. Nurses who are interested in applying for fellowships should:

  • Read the fine print to make sure you're qualified before you apply
  • Be prepared to present valid examples of how your experience relates to the fellowship
  • Only apply to those fellowships that truly speak to you or is in an area you're passionate about as you'll be spending countless hours of focus on the subject
  • Be willing to show your authentic personality and vulnerabilities during the interview process to let them see that you're more than just a CV
  • Be ready to provide incredible recommendations from reputable mentors who will vouch for the knowledge, skills, and abilities you'll bring to the fellowship

Many institutions start and end fellowships many times throughout a year. Nurses can conduct their own research, or rely on nursing advocate sites such as RegisteredNursing.org. Although an exhaustive list would outdate as soon as it publishes, we've listed a few programs as examples or a more concise list below.

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers fellowships through the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR), a multi-disciplinary research center that has an academic affiliation with many top-level institutions including the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Harvard Medical School. The two-year post-doctoral fellowship in health services research focuses on research projects in the areas of patient-centered care, organizational transformation and culture change, evidence-based practice, and patient safety. Senior investigators serve as mentors to the fellows in the full aspect of research methods and health service innovations. Fellows are encouraged to develop their own individual projects and are compensated with a fixed stipend.
  • The National Institute of Health's nursing research division (NINR) offers a Graduate Partnerships Program that coordinates training and funding for Ph.D. students attending a school of nursing. The program combines the academic environment with the research focus of the NIH to encourage and support nurses interested in clinical research. Students apply their final year of doctoral coursework and, once selected, matriculate to the NIC within a year to begin their dissertation research. This is a generous program that offers a stipend, tuition allowance, travel funds and health insurance for up to three years.
  • Duke University offers numerous post-doctoral fellowships that included Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, partnerships with the CDC, statistician work and other externally funded School of Nursing research projects. As a well-known and well-respected institution, nurses seeking a fellowship with Duke University should consider all of the options available at the time of interest. Depending on the program, the nursing research focus will evolve to the specialty or partnership.

Post-doctoral nurses have many choices of specialties in which to focus during a fellowship. Finding the best fit for your passion will help pull you through the thousands of hours spent on the program and subject, so choose with intention.

List of Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowship Programs

Select Your State:

Connecticut

SchoolContact Information
Yale University
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
400 West Campus Drive
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 737-2257

Maryland

SchoolContact Information
Johns Hopkins University
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
525 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
(410) 955-4766

Michigan

SchoolContact Information
University of Michigan
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
426 N. Ingalls St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-5985

Nebraska

SchoolContact Information
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
42nd and Emile
Omaha, NE 68198
(402) 559-4000

North Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Duke University
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
307 Trent Drive
Durham, NC 27710
(919) 684-3786
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
Carrington Hall, Campus Box #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 966-4260

Tennessee

SchoolContact Information
Vanderbilt University
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
461 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-4400

Washington, DC

SchoolContact Information
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - CHOIR
Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowships Programs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.